Friday, August 04, 2006

In Praise Of baseballnooz.com And Of Missing Our Captain

It's a great place, a conglomeration of many of the good baseball blogs for any team anywhere. I have the link listed on your right, under..links! I think it's the last one. If you click on MY RSS at the top left, it will list all the teams. Just click on your favorite team (Sox?) and you can subscribe to any of the feeds, which will be updated as the bloggers update their blogs. There are other sports network feeds that, when compilied on one screen, makes baseballnooz.com a great place to visit. Again, the link is on your right, right now, and subscribe to Peter's Red Sox Forever, just to make me feel good. Of course, any of my beloved readers reading this are regular visitors here anyway, but baseballnooze.com could be a great everyday stop, with all the blog rss feeds you'll ever need. Explore...tailor that RSS page...any questions...just email me through my profile.
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And we await the noon news conference that I assume will be to announce Javy Lopez' signing. We all wish this wasn't neccessary, but it is. Javy is no Tek. I could be more specfic, but I think that would be too negative. I just know we shall all miss the way Tek calls a game, just like a quarterback does for his football team, a quarterback whose coach does NOT call the plays from the sideline. Maybe Jason can do it from the dugout. We can only hope. Managers do it from the dugout. And Tek says he is not going anywhere during his rehab. So I ask this. WHY NOT??? Comments..please!

17 Comments:

At 8/04/2006 11:01 AM, Blogger BS Memorial said...

I've never seen a single solitary shred of evidence that suggests Jason Varitek calls a game above and beyond what your normal catcher may. In fact, there's sufficient cause to wonder if he needs to think of a new approach for a number of Sox hitters.

I like that he's smart and well prepared, but if he's helping something in that regard, I'd like to see the tangible results somewhere.

 
At 8/04/2006 11:12 AM, Blogger Peter N said...

Tim, nice to hear from you! Hi to Erin. And have you heard about/picked up the "summer book of the year", THE RUINS?? If not, look it up on amazon. I am one third through it, and the book is a cascade of horror, with no chapter breaks! SK was right on the ball with his review. Miss BSM....and take care.

 
At 8/04/2006 11:16 AM, Blogger Peter N said...

And as for Tek, I can only go by what the pitchers on the Sox, and the coaches, say. And hey, I love that you read me here. Quite a compliment. Check out that book!!!! Not to be read at night, especially when on vacation to Cozimul, Mexico. Spelling probably not correct.

 
At 8/04/2006 12:11 PM, Blogger BS Memorial said...

Haven't checked out the Ruins. Reading some old Toni Morrison at the moment.

Here's my point with Varitek- if he's a guy who *helps* a player- ie, aides them in being better than they'd be with another catcher- where is the Red Sox pitcher that got better from working with Varitek?

There's an argument for the younger arms- Papelbon, Lester, etc- but that's complicated by the noise of their normal progression and having a million cooks in their kitchen monitoring their development.

I guess the only guy I can think of is Arroyo, and even he got progressively less effective. Meanwhile, a number of pitchers have regressed or shown no tangible benefit from his presence upon arriving here. That's not 100% his fault whatsoever, but it also doesn't bode well for this perceived reputation.

I'm not saying these pitchers don't have a reason to love him, or that he isn't a very hard working player. But this is the exact kind of stuff we chide Yankee fans for- the blind belief in these non-quantifiable "trust us, its there" type "contributions." If varitek were as head-and-shoulders better than his contemporaries in this regard, there would be tangible proof, right? I'm just pointing out that I don't see any.

 
At 8/04/2006 12:36 PM, Blogger Peter N said...

As a favor, just check out THE RUINS on amazon, just for the reviews. And yes, I totally understand your comment about Tek, but I have to agree to disagree. Hey, that's what this whole country is about! Miss you and BSM...stay well.

 
At 8/04/2006 12:43 PM, Blogger Peter N said...

And after re-reading your comment, I have to say we have more than enough evidence, from players and writers alike, that Tek makes a difference. And I'm not talking about the offensive Tek. I'm talking about his "being there" behind the plate. For our pitchers. And who can calculate what a difference his pitch calling makes?? There is nothing to compare it with. Wow, I'm surprised! But it's so great to hear from you.

 
At 8/04/2006 12:45 PM, Blogger Peter N said...

If it was anyone but you, I'd argue loudly! But we come from the same place. I know that....

 
At 8/04/2006 2:31 PM, Blogger The Omnipotent Q said...

Thanks for the heads-up on BaseballNooz last week, Peter. It's a great site and I'm glad to be a part of it. Didn't see any of the Sox game last night, as I saw "World Trade Center" last night. It's an amazing film, and my review is up on my blog today...

 
At 8/04/2006 3:35 PM, Blogger BS Memorial said...

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I have to say we have more than enough evidence, from players and writers alike, that Tek makes a difference.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

This is *anecdotal* evidence. It's fine for what it is- good copy in a newspaper- but it doesn't show an appreciable effect that Varitek places on the *results* of a game. If they're all so sure it's true- where is it showing up in the results in games? And if it's not showing up, then what is it being repeated for like concrete fact?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
And who can calculate what a difference his pitch calling makes?? There is nothing to compare it with.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

There is though. With very little exception, these pitchers that the Red Sox have had since Varitek took over as the full-time catcher all have significant time throwing to OTHER catchers. So there's your comparison- results with one catcher versus results with Varitek. There are factors you have to account for- park, league, pitching coach, injury, etc- but that's your comparison base.

Now, that considered, I can't think of a single pitcher who's game was raised with consistency from pitching to Jason Varitek. Pedro Martinez could have thrown to me and improved, and Arroyo got better but then quickly did a nosedive.

What about Lowe? Beckett? Seanez? Burkett? Pete Schourek? Tomo Ohka? And on, and on. I'm not saying that he *doesn't* have an effect- I suppose it's possible all the pitchers on the Sox staff would do worse with any other catcher in there.

But that strikes me as being ridiculous when broken down, and especially so considering the results he's coaxed out of some of the pitching we've had the last few years. If Varitek gets all the credit for successes, why does Theo bear the brunt of recent bullpen failures? Why is the excuse on Beckett's fastball pumping laid on his personality and not, you know, the guy calling the pitches?

Varitek's reputation strikes me as largely a media creation right now, just like a lot that has to do with Derek Jeter. But, like Jeter, this doesn't make him bad at what he does. Just not superhuman.

 
At 8/04/2006 4:08 PM, Blogger kaylee said...

hey peter,
Nice post.......HOpefully we dont see the schilling that the angels pummeled last weekenf.lol,Hopefully we see the real curt Schilling.just wanted to say hi
-kaylee

 
At 8/04/2006 4:47 PM, Blogger Peter N said...

Tim, I give up! I never called him superhuman...I just was trying to say that the comfort factor and the way he researches the opposing batters is bar none the best. We can leave it at that. Can't we? Thanks.
I'm going out for the evening, so have a great weekend. And Kaylee, can we see you post some Fenway pics on your blog...especially if you have any of you with the guys? Let me know. Thanks.....

 
At 8/04/2006 4:48 PM, Blogger Peter N said...

And Q, wow...you saw WTC early! Lucky you. I heard it's very moving.....well, duh Peter. Of course it is.

 
At 8/04/2006 5:04 PM, Blogger kaylee said...

Peter,
Yeah I cn post some pictures!I got one of me with paps and tavarez and some with me and grady in it!I am still figuring out how to do it but I think I pretty much know how to post them now!if i dont get aound to it today or tomorrow I will definately(spelling)post some Sunday when I get back.I have to post ssome of grady sizemore and me for me and julie.haha.So yeah i will post some pictures when I get back.
-kaylee

 
At 8/04/2006 5:22 PM, Blogger kaylee said...

sorry for the errors you got what i meant though right?
-kaylee

 
At 8/04/2006 7:18 PM, Blogger Peter N said...

K, of course...I am just excited to see your Fenway pics! And you... Be safe, and have a great trip home.

P.S. We Have to win tonight. Peter

 
At 8/05/2006 2:29 AM, Blogger BS Memorial said...

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I just was trying to say that the comfort factor and the way he researches the opposing batters is bar none the best. We can leave it at that. Can't we? Thanks.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Can we though? I guess I'm really big on avoiding saying stuff like this that's impossible to prove.

How do we know he's better at this than every other catcher in baseball? And if he is, and it's to mean anything, there has to be an effect in real-world results. And as I've said, no one who supports this position has ever shown me anything close to convincing.

Just an interesting topic. To me, baseball isn't interesting if I just believe because someone (anyone) told me it's so. I hear the Varitek and his intangible "value" a lot, and I don't have a problem believing it's true, but I'd rather wait for proof to believe something.

Put it this way- do you believe Yankee fans when they tell you that Derek Jeter is more valuable than he seems because of his "intangibles"? Me either. This seems to be an analogous situation.

 
At 8/05/2006 6:33 AM, Blogger Peter N said...

I will relunctantly agree...although Jeter would be a welcome player for any team he chooses to play for. Blasphemy?? Nope. Good baseball sense.
Take care.

 

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